Island Slave Ch. 01



Carla's hand left a red imprint on his face. "You bastard! You hide that you're married and it's my fault? You arrogant, self righteous, son of a bitch!. I don't ever want to see you again! Get out. Get out of my sight!" She slammed the door in his shocked face and collapsed on the bed in tears again.

Carla spent the next three days locked in her room, subsisting on room service and romance novels. On the fourth day since fourth scuba dive, the fourteenth day of the cruise, Carla realized she was going stir crazy. She had read every book she had brought twice. She noticed that the ship was scheduled to stop at another island that day. There would be a four day stop here so that the passengers could visit a local village and experience true Caribbean life. The caving dive was also to take place here on the third day of the stop.

"Some time off the ship would do me good," she muttered to herself. "Maybe they have more books I can buy."

She ventured out for breakfast. Harold was visible in the distance with another woman. When he noticed her, he steered his new conquest away from Carla. Carla did not care. After their very loud blow up, anyone who didn't know what kind of cad he was, deserved what she got. She would, if she had the chance, warn the woman about who he really was. At least Carla would not have to suffer his presence. When they anchored shortly before lunch, Carla decided to go ashore. She had dressed in a sundress this time and was looking forward to some shopping.

Eager to escape the ship and Harold's presence, Carla took the first launch to the dock. The town of Chrisobos did not have a major port, preventing the Mystic Queen from docking directly. The town was built around a central square where the main well was located. It seemed that the major industry for Chrisobos was fishing. They passed numerous small fishing boats on they way in and the dock was practically overrun with services to support a fishing industry, such as it was.

In the central square, several women were setting up small booths. Baskets of knick knacks or other locally produced items were visible. This little impromptu shopping mall seemed to be the only bow the town made to the sudden influx of tourists. The other businesses, those in more permanent buildings, looked as if they were selling the same things they always sold to the locals. There was occasional foot traffic to the well by women of children with containers for water. Everyone seemed friendly and chatted with the visitors, but no one other than those with the booths initiated any contact.

Unlike most of her fellow passengers, Carla wandered away from the booths that were designed to sell to tourists and visited some of the permanent local shops. She picked up a few local spices that she hoped to use in her cooking back home. The food items available were all fresh and perishable. She smiled at the site of the ship's boson negotiating for supplies to take back to the ship. It seemed that the ship's menu was to get some local flavor added.

There were also shops that sold modern goods. The selection was limited, but they had the ability to order items to be shipped in. The stores had many modern conveniences, such as electric lighting and modern toilets, so they were not the primitive, backward society that the tourist booths in the square tried to portray. She wondered how many of the people taking water from the well actually needed to make the trip. It seemed that even the 'authentic' Caribbean lifestyle had to be manufactured for the tourists.

There was a local diner set back from the square, on the edge of where the private dwellings were located. Inside, she found only a couple of other non-locals sitting at tables. While she did not recognize them, she assumed they were also passengers. Carla took a table against a wall and waited a few minutes. She quickly determined that you ordered at the counter and the food was brought out to your table. She walked up to the counter and studied the menu written on a chalkboard above the counter.

All of the food choices seemed to be local dishes. Beverages included many familiar names such as Coke, Pepsi and Budweiser. There were a couple of drinks that she did not recognize and assumed to be local in nature. The man behind the counter waited patiently for her to make a choice.

"Excuse me miss." A well tanned gentleman with a strong Caribbean accent, had joined her at the counter. "You seem to be having trouble making a choice from the menu. Can I be so bold as to offer a suggestion?"

Carla looked at the man with a suspicious eye. "Fool me once..." she thought to herself. He wasn't bad looking. He stood about 6 feet tall and weighed around 180 pounds. He was clearly in good shape, trim with a firmness all over that spoke of little excess fat. His general appearance was rugged and, while there were no calluses on his hands, the skin was rough, speaking of some form of physical labor in his life. If she chose men on their appearance, she would already be putting the move on this one.

"That would be nice, mister..."

"Sanchez, Quinn Sanchez."

"Thank you Mr. Sanchez. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with most of these dishes."

"If I were you, I'd get Anna's rice shrimp, deep fried pineapple and the Maluga draft. You do like garlic? There's a fair amount of garlic in the shrimp."

"I love garlic. I'll take what he said," she ordered, turning to the man waiting. Looking back at Quinn, she added, "I'm sure I will love it, Mr. Sanchez."

"Please, Quinn. My employees don't even call me Mr. Sanchez."

"Very well, Quinn. I'm Carla." She held her hand out to shake his.

He took her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing it with a light touch of his lips. "My pleasure. Not many of the tourists make it as far as Anna's. But, I suspect that you're not an average anything, let alone tourist."

Carla's hand tensed as he kissed it, wondering what he intended and whether he was married as well. Given how courteous he had been, she couldn't rebuff him. She walked back towards her table while Quinn went back to his. The meal was brought out shortly and she found it to be fabulous. She could taste the garlic as well as other flavors in both the rice and the shrimp. She recognized the effects of long term marinating. The Maluga draft was a dark, rich beer with a hint of nut in the flavor. As someone who always had liked pineapple, she was able to savor the deep fried flavor that accentuated the sweet and sour taste of the tropical fruit.

For his part, Quinn found that he was drawn to Carla. He wasn't sure why yet. There was simply some quality about her that he found attractive. He watched her eating Anna's signature dish. She visibly savored every bite without making a big show. He knew he wanted to get to know her better.

"So, how was the food?" Quinn had walked up next to her , without her noticing, again.

"It was great. Thanks for the suggestion."

"I'm glad. I'd hate for one of the few discerning people to visit us to get the wrong impression."

"I'm not so certain about discerning," she muttered under her breath.

Quinn did not miss the hint of pain in her voice. Someone had hurt her recently. She was both vulnerable and leery. A gentle hand was called for. He found that her being hurt bothered him. He wasn't conscious of why, he just did not like that she was in pain.

"Come now. It is clear to me that you are someone who can tell the gold from the dross. After all, you managed to avoid Chrisobos' version of a tourist trap. If I were to take a wild guess, I'd say you work in a profession that requires you to make discriminating judgments between numerous options where the differences are small and the possible effects large. How am I doing?"

Carla was impressed. He had pretty much described what import/export was all about. "Quite well, actually. Let me try. I'd say that you work as the leader in a profession that is labor intensive. There is a lot of hard work involved, in the outdoors, yet you don't do much of the actual labor now."

"Ah. More proof of your discernment. I own a tobacco plantation about twenty miles from town. And what do you do when you're not visiting the Caribbean?"

"I work in the import/export business." Carla found herself drawn into conversation with Quinn, in spite of her misgivings. The reason Harold had been able to fool her so well was his ability to meet her needs in a man. Quinn met those same needs. He was intelligent and articulate. He genuinely seemed to enjoy talking with her. Carla had not been lying when she had told Sherry that she needed to be able to talk to a man about matters of substance and to be able to get to know and be known by him.

They talked for hours, the subjects of conversation drifting with time. She learned that the island had first been visited by the cruise line 15 years ago. In return for allowing themselves to be a destination, the line invested in the invisible infrastructure that enabled modern society. In the last 15 years, electricity and plumbing had been made available to the people of the village. While much of their lives were unchanged, the quality of those lives had improved. The ship's doctor used the three days to set up a small clinic to deal with any number of physical problems that had accumulated in the time since the last visit.

Carla found that she shared much of herself with Quinn. By the time night had fallen, he knew that she was the supervisor of her division, that she was single and unattached, that she had very strong opinions on the separation of work and play. Without being told, he was able to deduce that she had had few boyfriends, none of whom had gotten close to marriage. Quinn now sensed that her pain was because someone had broken her heart very recently. He could tell that she did not believe she would find love, a fact he had difficulty fathoming. To Quinn, she was a woman that a man could love. He found Carla to be intelligent and insightful, with a sharp wit and an easy laugh, when she allowed herself to. She accepted her body the way it was and wasn't starving herself to make her body some weird caricature of the female form nor was she trying to be what she was not by adding to the modest breasts nature had given her.

In fact, Quinn Sanchez was becoming interested with Carla Baxter. He wanted her and would do anything to achieve that goal. Carla sensed his obsession and believed that it was physical. She was different from the women on the island. She imagined that he saw her as an exotic attraction, one to be pursued and captured for a brief while. The memory of incredible sex was fresh in her mind and she was rebounding from Harold's betrayal. For the one of those rare times in her life, Carla found that she wanted a one night stand. She wanted to be seduced into Quinn's bed and shown ecstatic pleasures, only to disappear from his world and life the next day. She wasn't sure she could let him yet. The pain of Harold's betrayal was too fresh, too painful. What he wanted in his obsession was something she was unable to even contemplate. By the time she knew what he really wanted, it would be too late.

After dinner at Anna's, Quinn walked her back to the dock where she could catch the launch back to the ship. She allowed him to hold her hand on the way, and she gave him a light kiss on the cheek before she left. Carla was in her own little world on the trip back. She slept without tears for the first time in four nights. When she woke, her first thought was of Quinn. Would he be there?

She dressed in shorts and a tank top over her swim suit. The first thing she had noticed on the island was that dress there was very casual. Even Quinn had been wearing jeans and a polo shirt. She packed a day bag with her towel, sunscreen and sunglasses. She grabbed a quick breakfast from the buffet and was on the first launch to the island. This trip, she took a little time to look at what the ladies in the booths had to sell. She used the opportunity to subtly ask them about Quinn Sanchez. She was able to confirm that he was, indeed, a bachelor, and that he owned a plantation on the far side of the island. He always visited the town when the ship was here, charming the pants off (sometimes literally) the unattached females who visited the town.

Reassured that he had been honest with her and knowing that his intentions matched her own, she explored the outer areas of the town that she had become distracted from by his company. In the areas beyond where the average tourist would visit, she found life taking place instead of being staged. Children were playing and women were doing chores around their houses that anyone from anywhere would have recognized. There were water pumps in three different locations. She even saw two jeeps parked behind a couple of the houses. While she had her camera, Carla did not take any pictures. It didn't seem appropriate to snap photos of people's daily lives.

Two children bolted past her, yelling something she didn't catch. A woman yelled after them in Spanish, "Carlos, Maria, behave yourselves. You almost knocked the lady down." Turning to Carla, she apologized. "I'm very sorry miss. Are you okay?"

"That's all right," Carla answered in the same language. "They were just playing. I suspect you'll be happy they have run off some of that energy by tonight."

"Yes, you are right, I will. Do you have children of your own?"

"No, I'm afraid not. My sister does and I've seen what they can be like if they don't play hard during the day."

The villager gave a knowing smile. "Are you with the cruise ship?"

"Yes I am. My name's Carla, Carla Baxter."

"I'm Maria. If you don't mind my asking, it's unusual for the cruise people to come to the real village. Why are you here?" There was a hint of caution in her voice, as if she had to suspect something, but didn't want to.

"I don't know for sure. I guess I wanted to see what life here was really about. The town looks so... artificial. It's what I might expect to see, but too perfectly what I expect."

"And what do you see now, miss."

"I see normal. It's not how people live in the states, but it is too. I guess it's nice to see that children still play, housework still needs to be done and mothers still worry about their children. Granted, I wouldn't be cooking bread in a communal oven made of stones, but I would be making sure I had bread in the house."

Maria's expression softened. She could see a good soul here. "Would you like to join my family for lunch?"

"I would love to, provided you let me help in some way. I warn you though, I'm not a good cook." "At least not over a fire," she added in her head.

"Can you clean dishes?"

Carla laughed. "Yes, I think I can clean the occasional dish."

Carla spent the next hour heating the water and cleaning the dishes that had been used at breakfast. While it was strange to have to heat the water over a fire first, the process was no different than what she did at home. She knew that Sherry would never believe that she had spent part of her vacation cleaning someone else's dishes and asked Maria to take a picture of her at the chore. Lunch was a simple affair, just a blend of three vegetables steamed over the fire with fresh bread and butter. Carla noted that the only animals in the village were goats and knew where the unusual taste in the butter came from.

It was as lunch was finishing that she heard it. The sound of a diesel engine was coming out of the bush. Several of the children jumped up and ran off towards the sound, screaming "Quinn! Quinn's back!" Maria saw the look in Carla's face when she heard the children.

"Ah, you've met Quinn."

"Yes, he suggested what to have for lunch at Anna's yesterday."

"You know that Quinn will try to sleep with you, no?"

Carla had become very comfortable with Maria in the last couple of hours. "God, I hope so," she said without thinking.

"Ah. So you are willing. That is good. Quinn is a lonely man. The cruise ships, they help him fight the loneliness."

The truck was coming into view, creeping along with a children's escort. "Why is he lonely? I would think he would have no trouble finding someone to share his life with."

"I cannot say. Something or someone hurt him in the past. I think he is bitter with love. So he sleeps with the tourists and then stays on his plantation. There are always women, on the boats, who want the pleasure and no emotions. It is good for him, and I'm glad that this time he has found someone nice. Be sure to let him seduce you. It is something he needs."

"I'll do that. It's kind of fun to be seduced, I think." The two women shared a knowing smile.

Quinn's pickup had finally made it to the edge of the village. He got out and was mobbed by the kids. His hand appeared from his pocket holding a bunch of hard candies which he distributed with a practiced ease. When he looked up and saw Carla, his smile increased in size. He made his way over to her. Carla decided that not wading through every child in the village was a wise course of action.

"Ah, Carla. I see you found the true Chrisobos. What do you think?"

"It seems very normal. I enjoyed a chance to wash some dishes." From her face, he could tell that she honestly did enjoy that mundane household chore.

Turning to Maria, he exclaimed in mock horror, "Maria! You put this pretty lady to work?"

"No Quinn. I offered her lunch. She insisted on working. Who am I to deny a tourist that experience if they wish?"

"So, what would the tourist lady wish to do today?"

"I don't suppose you know how to swim?" she asked mischievously.

"Carla, this is a small island. Most children swim before they walk. The correct question is, 'Do I know where the best swimming spots are?' The answer is yes. If you'll hop into my limo here," he waved his hand at the pickup, "we can be there in a matter of minutes."

"Lead on Mr. Sanchez, lead on."

They talked as he drove the old truck through the bush. The topics were not of importance, just the fact that they seemed able to communicate with each other about anything. When he stopped, she looked ahead and saw a sandy beach leading into a lagoon. There was a slight ripple on the water's surface from the little of the ocean's waves that managed to survive the breakers that protected the lagoon.

"I assume you have a suit in that bag of yours?" he asked.

"No, I have a suit on under my clothes." With that, she pulled her top off and slipped out of her shorts, revealing the form fitting single piece suit she had worn.

Quinn eyed her with obvious approval, something she was unused to. Her breasts tingled under his gaze and she felt a rush of heat flow through her that had nothing to do with the tropical climate around her. He pulled his own shirt off, letting Carla see his chest for the first time. Like his arms and legs, it looked lean, yet with strength. She could picture herself leaning into that chest with pleasure.

They swam for hours, broken up with bouts of sunbathing. He showed her some of the beauty under the water and above it. They watched birds, fish and insects, all dressed out in brilliant colors. They also watched one another. They were able to laugh together at a bird struggling with a nut. For several hours, Carla forgot about Harold and the heart ache. By the time the sun was low on the horizon, both knew the game they were playing and the parts they were assigned. The end of the play was predetermined and both accepted that with joy.

They were sitting on the beach, watching the sun as it neared the horizon. Quinn put his arm around her and pulled her in close. He kissed the top of her head and she sighed. Carla leaned her head against his shoulder. One arm slipped behind his back, returning his embrace. When he bent down towards her again, she raised her face to receive his next kiss on her lips. It was a brief kiss that she renewed quickly with more passion. Their mouths opened and their tongues intertwined. Carla's other hand reach behind his head and pulled him tight. They lay back in the sand, still embracing and kissing.

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